LOOK AT THE THYME! HOW TO START AN HERB GARDEN AT HOME

You’ve cut your own bangs, sampled whipped coffee, and maybe even given virtual yoga the ol’ college try. So what’s next for your at-home endeavors?

A beginner herb garden. And here’s why.

Growing herbs at home means you’re just one fresh-cut snip away from enhancing tonight’s dinner, no store run required. If you grow them inside, the fresh greenery and fragrance will be a natural mood booster and stress reliever—something we could all use right now. If you take your efforts outside, they’ll be a welcome breath of fresh air. Plus, you can buy everything you need to get started online (yes, even the herbs themselves). So let’s dig in! (Ope, see what we did there??)

PICK A PERCH

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If you’re planting outside, look for a sunny area with well-draining soil, such as a raised bed. For indoor herb gardens, take a look around and find your sunniest window. Most herbs will do great in an unblocked south-facing window. Some herbs that require less sun, like mint, parsley, and thyme, will do best in west-facing windows. Temperature-wise, they like the same climate humans do, including the drop in temperature that comes with being by a window at night. Just make sure they’re not touching the glass—you don’t want them to get nipped by the cold!

GET THE GOODS

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Better get your credit card ready, ‘cause we’re going shopping! Here’s what you’ll need to get started with an herb garden.

  • Herbs of your choosing: What herbs should you grow? Whatever you want! Seriously, if you don’t think you’ll ever use marjoram, there’s no sense growing marjoram! You can browse our recipes below for inspiration or simply think about your favorite aromas and flavors. Starter plants are a good way to go, but you could also start from seed. Just know they may take two to four weeks.
  • Pots/Containers + Protective Liners: Drainage is key, so you’ll want to choose something with a drainage hole to prevent overwatering. Keep your sill protected with a saucer, liner, drain pan, plastic protector, etc. Mason jars can be cute, but if you’re going to go that route, be sure to throw some rocks in the bottom so that things can drain properly.
  • Potting soil: For potted herbs, opt for potting soil for its draining qualities.
  • Trowel: Because it’s fun to say and makes for a handy planting tool!
  • Herb markers, if you’re feeling fancy: Craft away to your Pinterest heart’s content.
  • A grow light, if needed: If you fear your chosen window won’t get enough sun or notice your herbs aren’t taking off, a cheap little glow light might be just the thing to keep them alive and perky!

Pot your herbs and marvel at your new living décor.

WATER THE RIGHT WAY

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Follow your inner plant intuition and keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged. A small watering can or a drizzle under the sink should do the trick! Keep an eye on your herbs and look for signs of over- or underwatering, such as dried or discolored leaves.

PRUNE LIKE A PRO

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Regular pruning, which will happen naturally as you add herbs to your food, will encourage new growth. Just use kitchen shears or pinch stems off at the nod. Don’t remove more than a fourth of the plant at any given time, though, lest you risk stressing it out or even killing it. 😬

FOCUS ON THE FUTURE

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The good/bad news is that if you’re doing this right, an indoor herb garden won’t last forever. Sooner or later, your new plant friends will outgrow their homes and will need to be transplanted into a larger pot or planted outside *tear.* They grow up so fast!

MAKE A MASTERPIECE

Now that you’ve got your own little herb farm, it’s time to put it to use! Make your meals come alive with our favorite herb-inspired recipes.

PANCETTA SPINACH QUICHE

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This festive quiche comes together with the help of Hunt’s® diced tomatoes, Italian blend cheese, fresh basil, and, you guessed it, a hearty dose of pancetta and spinach. Perfect for Mother’s Day brunch or any morning you want to feel special.

SWEET HERB MARINATED CHICKEN

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This recipe gives you an excuse to play with your new herb garden and fire up the grill. What’s not to love about spring? Whip up a quick marinade using Log Cabin® original syrup, olive oil, balsamic, and fresh thyme, let the chicken soak in all that goodness, and then toss it on the grill for a sizzlin’ meal that’s ready in minutes.

GRILLED CHICKEN TACOS

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Cilantro lovers, rejoice! The beloved (albeit polarizing) herb is the final touch on these simply delicious tacos that keep things fun for everyone. Bonus points if you can scarf them down without anything falling out.

GRILLED STRAWBERRY AND BASIL DESSERT PIZZA

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This dessert + a sunset might as well be perfection. Cream cheese and Reddi-wip® are spread over a crispy grilled crust before being topped with an unexpected combination of strawberries, fresh basil, and honey.

CRISPY PARMESAN ROASTED POTATOES

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You say “potato,” we say “a great way to use up fresh chives, parsley, and dill.” Baby yellow potatoes are tossed in Parmesan cheese and crisped up in the oven before being served with your very own DIY herb sour cream.

VELVETY SWEET POTATO SOUP WITH FRESH HERBS

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Pull on your wool socks and curl up with a fall favorite. Fresh basil, chives, and mint are the perfect garnishes for this silky-smooth soup that blends together sweet potato, carrot, and apple.

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